Principals and policymakers gather to address inequities in secondary education - Education Matters Magazine

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Principals and policymakers gather to address inequities in secondary education

The Australian Secondary Principals’ Association (ASPA) will host its landmark National Education Summit at Parliament House in Canberra on 26 March, bringing together principals, policymakers, education officials and experts to address persistent inequities in Australia’s secondary education system and develop solutions to improve outcomes for all students.

Entitled ‘Equity in Australian Secondary Education: Crossing the Divide’, the summit will consider school funding, senior secondary assessment, and school leader wellbeing, taking forward key priorities and stimulating new ideas for a longer-term reform agenda.

The summit will feature addresses by Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare, Shadow Minister Senator Sarah Henderson, and Greens Education Spokesperson Senator Penny Allman-Payne.

Social commentator Jane Caro AM will MC the event, which will also include panellists Dr Pasi Sahlberg, Federal Australian Education Union President Correna Haythorpe, NSW Director General Murat Dizdar PSM, Waiting for Gonski author Tom Greenwell, Queensland Department of Education Secretary Michael De’Ath and Dr Martin Westwell, Chief Executive of the South Australian Department of Education.

Leading public secondary school principals from all states and territories representing 2,200 school leaders and more than 1.1 million students will attend the summit, along with the CEOs of AITSL, ACARA and ESO, parent group ACSSO and a host of other eminent education advocates and experts.

Andy Mison. Image: ASPA

“This summit represents an unprecedented opportunity to shape an agenda for reform that delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to provide every young Australian with access to a high-quality education, regardless of their background or circumstances,” ASPA President Mr Andy Mison said.

Key summit priorities highlighted by Mr Mison include:

  • Fully funding all public schools to 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard by 2026 as a minimum, removing loopholes that allow funds to be diverted away from schools
  • Measuring and reporting on social segregation between schools and its impacts on wellbeing and achievement
  • Sustainably funding capital infrastructure for public schools
  • Developing national frameworks for senior secondary assessment and pathways that recognise a broader range of skills and capabilities, integrate vocational learning, and invest in research into alternate models
  • Providing greater resources and support for principals to lead learning and build positive school cultures.

New research on principals’ health, safety, and wellbeing, underscoring the need for systemic change to support education leaders, will be shared at the summit.

“By bringing together experts and decision makers from across the country, the summit aims to produce practical, evidence-based solutions to tackle inequity and unlock the potential of all students and schools,” Mr Mison said.

“We want to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to succeed in education, life and work, regardless of their circumstances.”

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